The Ledge

Michael and Diana kindly drove us up from Klamoth Falls to the trail head at the end of their working week on a Friday night. Not only were we humbled by their kindness but entertained by their stories of Oregon old and new. Michael’s shop of outdoor supplies saved me from further cold nights with a new sleeping bag! 

Hygiene 05

Finally we are scrubbed and laundered in Klamath Falls. 

It is dry and dusty on the trail and difficult to keep clean. Any sun cream, insect repellent or moisturiser makes us become coated in dirt and, as water sources are scarce, it is difficult to wash. We manage with a damp flannel to remove the day’s grime but carry no soap or deodorant. There’s no point using either as within moments of walking the next day we become coated and soap would pollute. 

So to summarise as before:

  • Clothing – we carry two sets only which for me are running shorts, socks and synthetic t-shirt. One for hiking in and the other for sleeping. All other clothes are thermal or protective add-ons: trousers, fleece, rain jacket and hat. We carry as a luxury flip flops for camp to rest our feet at the end of the day. 
  • Cuts and blisters – all readily available and require constant management with antiseptic and band aids. 
  • Toilette – is a whole dug at least a 100ft off the trail concealed in the woods. We don’t carry toilet paper as we don’t want to litter the trail by trying to bury it. Wild animals are attracted to our faeces and will dig it up scattering the paper residue. We go ‘Asian style’ using water to wash and then use a hand disinfectant. 
  • Shaving – impossible. 
  • Toe and finger nails – I never thought I’d say this but cuticle maintenance is essential to healthy feet and walking. 
  • Hair – forgotten about as it sits beneath a sun hat. 
  • Medical talc – not required and has been posted ‘off’ the trail. 
  • Moisturiser – Vaseline on the legs at night before sleeping. 
  • Teeth – we still keep brushing, flossing and tepeeing
  • Deodorant – none. 
  • Cups and stove pots – hard to keep clean when we have to filter all our portable water. A wipe and a lick just about keeps things ok. 


Stats after 2 weeks

My first footwear, expensive light weight trail running shoes, almost crippled me after only 4 days of walking. Above are the replacements, the cheapest Nike trainers from Fred Myers, an American supermarket chain, at $48. They saved my feet from further torture and are fantastically comfortable!

Our stove also failed and we had two days of cold rehydrated food. Luckily we managed to get a cheap replacement gas burner and cylinder at the store in Shelter Cove. And guess what? They’re simpler, lighter and easier to use than my ‘state of the art’ camping stove which we’ll post out, off the trail, tomorrow. 

The Stats so far are as follows:

  • Walked 225 miles
  • Seen 9 deer
  • Forded 2 rivers
  • Passed 540 other hikers of which:
  • 12 had dogs
  • 8 were on horses
  • 1 was barefoot 
  • 2 were wearing kilts
  • 6 were playing music from speakers
  • 42 were listening to headphones 
  • 14 were heading southbound